Loading the player ...
Garden Conversation

June 9, 1976, Los Angeles
Nalinikantha: Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, part two.
Prabhupada: You read from very beginning?
Nalinikantha: Introduction?
Prabhupada: No, kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha.
"Prahlada Maharaja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of lifein other words, from the tender age of childhoodto practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection."
Prabhupada: The guests, you may read aloud to them. (long pause; Srila Prabhupada exchanges a few Hindi sentences with a woman)
Nalinikantha: "The whole purpose of Vedic civilization and of reading the Vedas is to attain the perfect stage of devotional service in the human form of life. According to the Vedic system, therefore, from the very beginning of life the brahmacarya system is introduced so that from one's very childhoodfrom the age of five yearsone can practice modifying one's human activities so as to engage perfectly in devotional service. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, Chapter Two, verse 40, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat: 'Even a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.' Modern civilization, not referring to the verdicts of Vedic literature, is so cruel to the members of human society that instead of teaching children to become brahmacaris, it teaches mothers to kill their children even in the womb, on the plea of curbing the increase of population. And if by chance a child is saved, he is educated only for sense gratification. Gradually, throughout the entire world, human society is losing interest in the perfection of life. Indeed, men are living like cats and dogs, spoiling the duration of their human lives by actually preparing to transmigrate again to the degraded species among the 8,400,000 forms of life. The Krsna consciousness movement is anxious to serve human society by teaching people to perform devotional service, which can save a human being from being degraded again to animal life. As already stated by Prahlada Maharaja, bhagavata-dharma consists of
In all the schools, colleges and universities, and at home, all children and youths should be taught to hear about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, they should be taught to hear the instructions of Bhagavad-gita, to put them into practice in their lives, and thus to become strong in devotional service, free from fear of being degraded to animal life. Following bhagavata-dharma has been made extremely easy in this age of Kali. The sastra says:
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
One need only chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Everyone engaged in the practice of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra will be completely cleansed, from the core of the heart, and will be saved from the cycle of birth and death."
Prabhupada: Go on.
Nalinikantha: Canto Seven, Chapter Six, text 2.
yatha hi purusasyeha
visnoh padopasarpanam
yad esa sarva-bhutanam
priya atmesvarah suhrt
"The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead. Therefore every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu. This devotional service is natural because Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings." Purport: "The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita, Chapter Five, verse 29,
'The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.' Simply by understanding these three factsthat the Supreme Lord, Visnu, is the proprietor of the entire creation, that He is the best well-wishing friend of all living entities, and that He is the supreme enjoyer of everythingone becomes peaceful and happy. For this transcendental happiness, the living entity has wandered throughout the universe in different forms of life and different planetary systems, but because he has forgotten his intimate relationship with Visnu, he has merely suffered, life after life. Therefore, the educational system in the human form of life should be so perfect that one will understand his intimate relationship with God, or Visnu. Every living entity has an intimate relationship with God. One should therefore glorify the Lord in the adoration of santa-rasa or revive his eternal relationship with Visnu as a servant in dasya-rasa, a friend in sakhya-rasa, a parent in vatsalya-rasa or a conjugal lover in madhurya-rasa. All these relationships are on the platform of love. Visnu is the center of love for everyone, and therefore the duty of everyone is to engage in the loving service of the Lord. As stated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, thirty-eighth verse: yesam aham priya atma sutas ca sakha guruh suhrdo daivam istam. 'In any form of life, we are related with Visnu, who is the most beloved, the Supersoul, son, friend and guru.' Our eternal relationship with God can be revived in the human form of life, and that should be the goal of education. Indeed, that is the perfection of life and the perfection of education."
Prabhupada: Any question about this statement? You can discuss.
Nalinikantha: This chapter is entitled "Prahlada Instructs His Demoniac Schoolmates." Teaching the children.
Prabhupada: He was taking opportunity to preach Krsna consciousness during tiffin hours. When the teachers would go away... During tiffin time, of course, the teachers go away, and Prahlada Maharaja immediately will... (aside:) Let him come here. He'd immediately take the opportunity of preaching Krsna consciousness. (greets Indian guests in Bengali) Asun, come on. [break] ...Krsna consciousness even in the classroom. All the school friends were sons of demons, means atheist class of men. So they did not know anything about God, and Prahlada Maharaja was taking advantage of the school tiffin hour and preaching. So his first beginning of the teaching was kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavtan iha [SB 7.6.1]. From the beginning of life, when we are children, we should learn about Krsna consciousness. That is the beginning of his teachings. Go on.
Prabhupada: Allow some Indian dress may come in.
Nalinikantha: "Prahlada Maharaja continued: My dear friends born of demoniac families, the happiness perceived with reference to the sense objects..."
Prabhupada: He is addressing his friends, "born of demoniac families, my dear friends." (laughs) Give him one chair, Dr. Wolfe. Yes, that's nice. He used to address his father also as "the best of the demons." Once his father asked him, "My dear son, what nice lesson you have learned in the school? Please tell me." So he addressed his father, asura-varya, "the best of the asuras."
So, "My dear father," not "father," "the best of the asuras," asurya-varya, the chief asura, "in my opinion," tat sadhu manye, "I think, so far I have studied," tat sadhu manye, "I think that is very nice, very honest profession of occupation for persons who are always full of anxieties." In the material world everyone is full of anxiety. That's a fact. Even in your country, the President Nixon, he was full of anxiety while he was in office, and now, out of his office, he's also full of anxiety. So just see. This is the best man in your country, president, the foremost man. So if he is full of anxiety, the others naturally... Everyone. So what is the cause of the anxiety? Asad-grahat. Sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat. Asat means that does not exist, "not eternal," it is just opposite. Eternal is called sat, om tat sat, and asat means just the opposite. So here in this material world everything is asat. Even this body is asat; it will not exist. And what to speak of other things with reference to the body. Everything is asat. Anything material is asat; it will not stay, either these trees or this land or this world or this country or this, anything, asat. So asad-grahat, on account of accepting things which are asat, not permanent, they are always full of anxiety. Just see how nicely explained, why one is full of anxiety. The reason is, he has accepted something which will not stay, endure, and he has accepted: "This is all in all. My country is all in all. My family is all in all. This body, all in all." But it will not stay. That's a practical fact. But they are sticking to these things. Deha-patra-kalatradisu atma-sainyesu asatsu api. There is another verse where this word is used, asat. Everyone is thinking, "I am secure. I am born in a very good nation, state. My body is very strong. My family members are very nice, well-educated. I have got good bank balance, and I have got respectable position," so on, so on. He is thinking, "These things will save me." This world is struggle for existence, and when there is struggle, there are some soldiers. So atma-sainyesu asatsu api. One is thinking that "These are my soldiers. I'll own victory in the struggle for existence." But pramattah tasya nidhanam pasyann api na pasyati. But he's so mad, he knows that these things will be vanquished, and still, he does not see to it. Pasyann api na pasyati. Therefore his anxiety. So Prahlada Maharaja is, this version, sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat: "On account of accepting nonpermanent things as permanent, therefore he's full of anxiety." Sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat. Then what is the remedy? The remedy is hitvatma-ghatam grham andha-kupam: "This andha-kupam, dark well of ignorance, one must give up." Then vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta: [SB 7.5.5] "He must go to vana." When one goes to vana, it is called vanaprastha. So after family life, according to Vedic civilization, one has to accept vanaprastha life. And when one is fully prepared, he takes sannyasa after vanaprastha life. So vanam gatah means one should prepare by going to the forest for the next life of renounced order of life. That is human civilization: brahmacari, grhasta, vanaprastha and sannyasa. Sannyasa means full engaged in Krsna consciousness. Vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. Otherwise, what is the use of going to the forest? In the forest there are many monkeys also. So that kind of life is not harim asrayeta. He must take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. That is om tat sat. And then he'll be happy. That is Vedic civilization. So Prahlada Maharaja is teaching to the boys, his class friends. He was five-years-old boy. Naturally, his friends are also of the same age, and he's teaching this bhagavata-dharma. Read this.
Nalinikantha: "The happiness perceived with reference to the sense objects by contact with the body can be obtained in any form of life, according to one's past fruitive activities. Such happiness is automatically obtained without endeavor, just as we obtain distress."
Prabhupada: Thank you. So here in the material world happiness means sense gratification, that's all. So Prahlada Maharaja said, "The happiness of sense gratification, obtainable in any form of life..." The birds, beasts, human beings or even the demigods, cats, dogseveryone has got the happiness of sense gratification, namely eating, sleeping, sex and defense. That is obtainable everywhere. But the spiritual happiness, that is obtainable in human form of life. Therefore the human being from childhood... Kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha [SB 7.6.1]. From the very beginning of childhood. Why so early? Durlabham manusam janma. This human form of life is obtained after many, many births' evolutionary process. And adhruvam. There is no certainty that I shall live so many years. Although it is estimated that one is expected to live for at least hundred yearsthat is estimationbut at the present moment at least, nobody is living up to that. So even there is such indication, still, there is no guarantee. We can die at any moment. Adhruvam, but arthadam. Although it is adhruvamthere is no guaranteebut whatever period we get, we can utilize it for the best purpose. Arthadam. We can gain the ultimate goal of life, arthadam. That is... He is giving stress. Arthadam means spiritual realization. That is arthadam. Otherwise we remain like animals. The animal has also sense gratification process: how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex and how to defend. So sukham aindriyakam daitya. He is addressing his friends as daitya, "sons of the demons." He is addressing his father as "best of the demons." (laughs) There are two classes of men: deva and asura. Dvau bhuta-sargau loke daiva asura eva ca [Bg. 16.6]. In this material world there are... (aside:) Why not Dr. Wolfe may come here, bring his chair here? You can sit down there. You can bring your chair. So this sense gratification is available. Visayah khalu sarvatah yat. These are called visaya. Visaya means sense enjoyment. So visayah sarvatah syat. In any form of life these four principles are there. Eating arrangement is there. (aside:) Come on. Sleeping arrangement is there. The bird, he is not anxious about eating, sleeping, mating. It is already there. He has got a nest above the tree. At night he is very safe and sleeping nicely. And in the morning, he knows, somewhere there is some fruit, he'll get his food. He's not anxious. He goes anywhere. And for mating, the male and female bird are always together. The pigeons, they are having every hour, four times, five times, mating. So that arrangement is always there. And defense? They are on the ground. As soon as there is some man, immediately they go up, defense. So they know, everyone knows, how to enjoy this visaya-eating, sleeping, mating and defending. So the sastra says, visayah khalu sarvatah syat. "These four principles of necessities of the body are available anywhere." Either you are born as a human being or a cat or a dog or a bird or beast or demigod, these are available. So we should not bother about these things. The arrangement is already there. By the grace of God, things are already there. So Narada Muni said, "Don't bother about these things." Tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah [SB 1.5.18]. So we are wandering within this universe in different forms of life, in different planets, upary adhah, upari, adhah, upper planetary systems, down planetary system. We are having these facilities in different standard. The demigods, they have got their different standard of life, thousands and thousands of times better than ours. We have got better standard of life. Just like the Americans, they have got better standard of life than the Indians. So this higher standard, lower standard, but whatever standard may be, the thing, the taste of material enjoyment, is there. Sex intercourse in the human form of life and the sex intercourse of the dog on the street, the taste is the same. Taste is not changed. You put any eatable either in the gold pot or in the iron pot: the taste is the same. Therefore visayah khalu sarvatah syat. The taste of these sense enjoyable things are the same everywhere. Therefore he says sukham aindriyakam yat... What is that verse?
Prabhupada: Hmm. Deha-yogena dehinam. Sex means one body is being united with another body. Deha-yogena dehinam. That is enjoyment. So Prahlada Maharaja says, "These things are available anywhere, without any endeavor. It can be available anywhere." Read it.
Nalinikantha: Sarvatra labhyate.
Prabhupada: Sarvatra labhyate. Sarvatra means every form of life, in every place, either in the higher planetary or lower planetary or this, everywhere, sarvatra. Hmm?
Nalinikantha: Sarvatra labhyate daivad.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Daivat. Daivat means "by the superior arrangement." Superior arrangement... One has become human being, one has become cat, one has become dog, one has become demigod, one has become worm of the stool-daiva-yogena, by the arrangement of the supreme controller. But the material happiness is the same everywhere. Either one is worm in the stool or he is king in the heaven, the standard happiness is the same. Then?
Nalinikantha: Yatha duhkham ayatnatah
Prabhupada: Ah. And these things are available without any endeavor, as we get distressed condition of life without any endeavor. There are two things in this world: distress and happiness. So we don't call for distress, that "Malaria fever comes to me. I shall enjoy." Nobody says, but it comes. So similarly, this is distress. If distress comes by the superior arrangement, so happiness also will come by superior arrangement. So why should we bother about these things? Now tasyaiva hetoh praya... Therefore our endeavor should be for understanding ourself, self-realization, and our relationship with God or what is God, what is the nature. These things, athato brahma jijnasa, this is our business, not to waste our valuable time for searching after sense gratification. It is not human civilization, and that is..., that is demonic civilization. That is Prahlada Maharaja, stressing. Sukham aindriyakam yad... Read it?
Nalinikantha: Next one?
Prabhupada: No, no, this verse.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Now translation and purport, read.
Nalinikantha: We just read that. Read again?
Prabhupada: The purport you have read?
Nalinikantha: Yes.
Prabhupada: Oh, then next verse.
Nalinikantha: No, I haven't read the purport.
Prabhupada: Oh, purport read.
Nalinikantha: "In the material world in any form of life there is some so-called happiness and so-called distress. No one invites distress in order to suffer, but still it comes. Similarly, even if we do not endeavor to obtain the advantages of material happiness, we shall obtain them automatically. This happiness and distress are obtainable in any form of life without endeavor. Thus there is no need to waste time and energy fighting against distress or working very hard for happiness. Our only business in the human form of life should be to revive our relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus become qualified to return home, back to Godhead. Material happiness and distress come as soon as we accept a material body, regardless of what form. We cannot avoid such happiness and distress under any circumstances. The best use of human form of life, therefore, lies in reviving our relationship with the Supreme Lord Visnu."
Prabhupada: So, is there any question about this statement?
Arnold Weiss: Yes. What originally caused us to lose our relationship with Lord Krsna? I understand it is due to our desires, but how is this desire manifest?
Prabhupada: Relationship is not lost. Just like you... Either you are in the prison house or you are in the kingdom of the state, your relationship with government is there. It does not mean that when you are put into the prison house to suffer, it does not mean you have lost relationship, is it that?
Arnold Weiss: Yes, but why are we in the prison house?
Prabhupada: This is the cause: because you are criminal, you are put into the prison house, but the relationship continues.
Arnold Weiss: What have we done to make ourselves criminals?
Prabhupada: What you have done, you are put into prison?
Arnold Weiss: No, but what have we done to make ourselves criminals? What criminal acts have we performed?
Prabhupada: That you might have forgotten. Because your nature is to forget, you cannot immediately remember what you are doing exactly this time yesterday. That is your... You have forgotten, but suppose you, without any knowledge, you do something criminal. So you must be punished. You may not know. You cannot say in the court that "I did not know by committing this act I'll be punished." So you know or not know. You have done it; you must be punished. You may not know what you have done, but that does not mean you can avoid punishment.
Arnold Weiss: I understand that. It sounds reasonable to me. When we do this act for which we are punished, is it done in this life or done in some prior life?
Prabhupada: This life or prior life, because you are eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. You are eternal.
Arnold Weiss: Would the prior life have to be an animal life?
Prabhupada: Yes, might be.
Arnold Weiss: Or could the prior life also be human life?
Prabhupada: No, not necessarily. There are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and you are one of them now, as you, as soul, you are the same; the body is changed. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said in the Second Chapter that "Arjuna, you, Me and all these persons who are assembled here, they existed in their previous lives, they are now existing, and they'll continue to exist." So our life is eternal. That is the first instruction in the Bhagavad-gita. Na jayate na mriyate va kadacit, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. This living entity, soul, is never born, neither he dies. It is simply change of body. Just like you just took this sweater. That means you are there, and you may give up the sweater again. So your body is changing like dress, but you are the same. So your... In previous... Just like now we are elderly gentleman, but we were a child. That's a fact. At that time the body was different. You are a young man; the body was different. And again you'll become old man like me, your body will be different. So in this life also we are experiencing going through different types of body. Similarly, after giving up this body, I'll have another body. Where is the difficulty to understand? Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
So dehantara-praptir, to accept another body, that is inevitable. Now, what kind of body you'll accept... You'll not accept. You'll be forced to accept, according to your work, karmana daiva-netrena [SB 3.31.1], by superior arrangement. After death, after giving up this body... Generally, at the time of death, your mental condition will carry you to a similar body. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. This is the general, but it is under superior arrangement. So we are changing this body continually, cycle of birth and death. That is material world. Therefore it is said that according to the body, the standard of happiness, distress, is there. So that will come automatically by nature's law. Therefore there is no need of endeavoring improving or subduing this kind of bodily comforts. That you cannot change; it is all destiny. You try for self-realization. What you are? Why you are in this body? Why you are suffering? These questions should be discussed. That is human life.
Arnold Weiss: God, of course, has put this entire human life picture together, and we, of course, cannot really understand His motives or reasons for this. But if there was some understanding that could be imparted to us... Is there? I ask the question, "Is there any understanding that can be imparted to us, to understand some of His motives for this?" Because it seems to me that we suffer a great deal to be able to turn towards Him, and yet in the Bhagavad-gita He says something like "One million will seek Me, but only one out of that million will find Me."
Prabhupada: Yes.
Arnold Weiss: So your chances are very, very little, and God, of course, understands this.
Prabhupada: No, chances are very little, and chance is immediate. Ordinarily, the chance is very little, but if you accept what God says, immediately... Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is stated,
So by regular process, it will take many, many births, bahunam janmanam. When he is actually jnanavan, then he surrenders to God, and he understands vasudevah sarvam iti: [Bg. 7.19] "Everything is Vasudeva." Sa mahatma sudur... So if we are intelligent, we can take this verse seriously, that "Although it is very difficult to understand Vasudeva"it takes many, many births to understand this fact"but if one has to come to this point, vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19], why not do it immediately?" That is intelligence. So if we surrender to God immediately, the thing is very easy; it is a task of one minute only. But if you don't do that, then it is difficult. Go on, birth after birth, birth after birth.
Arnold Weiss: Why... I understand that. It seems very acceptable in an intuitive sense, but then the mind sort of questions some of these things.
Prabhupada: Is there water? Bring it. Hmm, yes?
Arnold Weiss: The mind questions some of these things, and these questions kind of flow naturally, and one wonders why the structure of the universe or of the world has been made in such a fashion that it takes a great deal of misery and difficulty for us to turn towards God.
Prabhupada: Because he doesn't want to turn towards God.
Arnold Weiss: Because we don't want to?
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like God says that "You surrender unto Me." And who is going to surrender? He says clearly, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66], and who is doing that? So why he'll not suffer? He must suffer.
He would not do that. He'll try to become himself God: "No, why shall I surrender to God? I am God." He is dog, he is kicked even by dog, and he's still thinking, "I am God." This is the difficulty.
Arnold Weiss: So as I understand it-tell me if I interpret it correctly-we're being put more or less into our place, being shown where we really are in relation with God through our suffering.
Prabhupada: Yes. God is giving you the remedy, that "You surrender to Me, you are immediately relieved from all sufferings." But we shall not do that. So what is the alternative than suffering? This is common sense.
Arnold Weiss: This is a lesson in learning through contrast, then.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Arnold Weiss: This is a lesson in learning through contrast, the contrast of suffering versus not suffering.
Prabhupada: Yes. Suffering, this is only suffering. This material world is only suffering, but under illusion we are accepting suffering as enjoyment.
Arnold Weiss: Is this because the illusion that we see is a representation of the spiritual world in a sense?
Prabhupada: Illusion is another punishment. We wanted to forget God, and God's illusory energy is giving him facility to forget God. This is called illusory energy.
Arnold Weiss: In the beginning, when we were first part of God, as I understand from reading Bhagavad-gita and some of your other translations and purports, which I enjoy very muchI thank you for making them availableI understand that our souls are also part of God, as a drop of water is part of that ocean. How... Is there any knowledge or information of how we incurred this first separation from God?
Prabhupada: Separation... Generally, when we want to become God, there is separation.
Arnold Weiss: A rebellion.
Prabhupada: You cannot... There is one God, and if you want to become God, you are immediately driven away: "Just become God in the material world. Go there and try to become God."
Dr. Wolfe: Prabhupada? There is a parallel in the Bible that Lucifer broke away from God because He wanted to be God.
Prabhupada: That's it.
Arnold Weiss: I was thinking that too.
Prabhupada: (laughs) This rascaldom... This rascaldom makes him a dog. Instead of God, he become a dog. So this rascaldom is going on, that "I am God." For this purpose he's suffering, and still, he wants to continue it. Nobody can become God; God is one. Ekam brahma dvitiyam nasti. So how we can become God? But that endeavor is going on.
Arnold Weiss: As I understand it, since God is omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowledgeable and all-remembering, then He is in a position where He can know what our choices are going to be, and what is going to happen with us in the future.
Prabhupada: No, no. You make a choice; you can change it. But as soon as you change it, God knows what you are going to do. This is very common sense. Suppose you are honest man; I entrust you with something. But as soon as you become dishonest, immediately I withdraw my interest (entrust?), because I know what you'll do. So you have got little independence. You are put into certain position, but you can change it at anytime. So your position is, actually, you are eternal servant of God. As soon as you change it, then your suffering begins. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find, after instructing Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, Krsna is asking, "Now I have instructed you everything. Now whatever you like, you can do." Yathechasi tatha kuru. That independence you have got. Krsna, or God, does not interfere with the little independence He has given to us. And because we are part and parcel of God, God is fully independent, so we have got little portion of independence. So by misusing that independence, we can desire to become God, and we suffer.
Arnold Weiss: Isn't it within the nature of our souls to have...
Prabhupada: That is the nature, little independence. That is the nature. You can properly use independence, and you can improperly use. That is the meaning of independence. That you can use it improperly. Then you suffer. That is the meaning of independence. If it is that I have got independenceI cannot use it otherwisethat is not independence.
Arnold Weiss: So that small, miniscule amount of independence we have represents our free will in making decisions and choices towards either returning toward God or trying to go on our own way, which is the origin of our original position, being in this material world. Very interesting.
Prabhupada: So therefore Krsna said that "The most confidential part of knowledge I am giving you, Arjuna, because you are My very intimate friend, that you give up your nonsense plans." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You just surrender to Me. This is the most confidential knowledge. You can misuse your independence, but I am instructing you most confidentially because you are My intimate. Don't make plans like rascals. You just surrender to Me. This is confidential." Or in other words, "Don't foolishly try to become God. You remain a servant. Surrender to..." This is the ultimate instruction. Find out in the Eighteenth Chapter, sarva-guhyatamam. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
[Bg. 18.65]
Prabhupada: Where it is, which chapter?
Danavir: Eighteenth chapter.
Prabhupada: Yes. There, sarva-guhyatamam? Before that, there is another verse, sarva-guhyatamam.
"Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit." Purport. "The Lord has given Arjuna confidential knowledge of the Supersoul within everyone's heart, and now He is giving the most confidential part of this knowledge: just surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the end of the Ninth Chapter He has said, 'Just always think of Me.' The same instruction is repeated here to stress the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. This essence is not understood by a common man, but by one who is actually very dear to Krsna, a pure devotee of Krsna. This is the most important instruction in all Vedic literature. What Krsna is saying in this connection is the most essential part of knowledge, and it should be carried out not only by Arjuna but by all living entities."
Prabhupada: Then next verse.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
[Bg. 18.65]
"Always think of Me and become My devotee..."
Prabhupada: So instead of becoming devotee, he wants to become God. And that is the problem. But it is the most confidential part of knowledge. Instead of carrying out the orders of God, he wants to order God. You see? Even in the lower stages of devotion, that mentality continues, that "God is order-supplier. If God carries my order, then I accept God. Otherwise I reject Him." In Germany... One of my German Godbrothers, he told me in 1935 that in the last world war, many people became atheists. They went to the church and prayed, especially women, "My husband may come back," "My brother may come back," or "My father may come back." Because all men went to the war field, and the women were there, they prayed in the churches. But nobody came back, and they became atheists. That means they took God as order-supplier. They ordered God, "Return my father. Return my brother. Return my husband," and God did not return. "Ah, there is no God. I don't care." This is going on. God is order-supplier. But our philosophy is God is not order-supplier; we are order-carriers of God. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Just like Arjuna became. He became carrier of order of Krsna. He did not like to fight, to kill the family members, but when he understood that Krsna wants it, then he..., "Yes." Karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73]. Find out this verse, nasto mohah smrtir labhda tvat-prasadan madhusudanah.
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat-prasadan mayacyuta
sthito 'smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava
[Bg. 18.73]
Prabhupada: Tava. Sthito 'smi gata-sandehah: "Now I am situated in the real position, without any doubt." What is that position? Karisye vacanam tava: "I shall carry out your order. I'll not ask you to become my order-supplier, but I shall carry out your order." And this is perfection of Gita knowledge. And he did it. He did not like to kill his family members, but he did it. He killed Bhismadeva. He killed his teacher, Dronacarya. He killed his nephews, brothers, everyone. Karisye vacanam tava: "You want it? All right, never mind. Even though I don't want it, I must do it." That is Krsna consciousness. Karisye vacanam tava. Anukulyena krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. "I should not place any motive before God. I shall carry out the motive of God"that is bhakti. So what is that confi...? Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65].
Nalinikantha: Mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo 'si me: "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me."
Prabhupada: Now, if He is ordering to become His devotee, how can I try to become another God, competitor? This is the folly, and for this we are suffering. He asked him, "You become My devotee." And I want to become another God, competitor. And therefore we are suffering. We cannot become another God. That is not possible. But artificially you are trying. Therefore you are suffering. Anything you try artificially, you'll suffer. If you try for a thing artificially, then what is the result? Result will be suffering and disappointment. Therefore sastra says, tasyaiva hetoh prayeteta kovidah. Don't try for such things... You have tried all through in different forms of life. You have failed. So don't try for that. But try to become servant of God. Then your life will be successful. Because in the material world the endeavor is how to become God in different varieties: how to become president, how to become minister, how to become master, how to become very strong man, very wealthy man, very beautiful man, so on, so on, so on, up towhen everything failsthen how to become God. When everything fails, then, ultimately, "Now I shall become God." The same disease is there, how to become big, now the biggest. And that is the same disease in a different form. Therefore, Caitanya-caritamrta, it is said, krsna-bhakta-niskama, ataeva santa, bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami-'asanta' [Cc. Madhya 19.149]. Bhukti means material enjoyment. Karmis... Just like ordinary men, they are working so hard day and night. This airplane is running here and there, (loud airplane passing over) day and night, carrying karmis. So this is bhukti. How to enjoy this material world fully, this is called bhukti. So because they are after bhukti, how there can be peace? He has to work very hard. And mukti, those who are jnanis, they are trying to become one with God. So that is also very difficult. But still, there are so many sadhanas. That is also... But the desire is there. The karmis are desiring to enjoy material world, and the jnanis are desiring to become the supreme. That is also another desire. So bhukti mukti siddhi. Yogis, they are trying to achieve some mystic power. And if you attain some mystic power, without airplane if you can fly... The yogis can do that. Or if you can walk on the water... The yogis can do it. This is called laghima-siddhi, to become light, very light. So that... By yoga practice you can do that. So anima, laghima, siddhi, prapti, mahimathere are so many siddhis. So siddhi-kami, they are also desiring something. And the jnanis, they are also desiring something, and karmis, they are also desiring something. The bhakta, he does not desire anything. Therefore peacefulness is for him, because he does not desire anything. He does not ask God anything. That is sunyam. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [BRS 1.1.11]no motive. That "I am becoming a devotee for this purpose"no, that is not pure devotee. "I am eternal servant of God, so it is my duty to serve Him, that's all." That is peace. And so long he'll desire, then he'll not have any peace. That is not possible.
Indian lady: This siddhis, do they harm sometimes humanity with their siddhis also?
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Indian lady: With the siddhis... One who has attained all these siddhis, all these powers, do they harm humanity sometimes?
Prabhupada: Anything without devotion to the Lord is harmful to the humanity. Anything, either karmi or jnani or siddhi, it is all harmful, because all these things will keep him aloof from God. His mission is that he is separated from God. His mission should be how to go back to home, back to Godhead. So all these thingsbhukti, mukti, siddhiwill keep him aloof from God. Therefore it is harmful. It will not allow him to go nearer to God, and that is harmful. That is the greatest harm. Being aloof from God, he's suffering. So these bhukti, mukti, siddhi will keep him aloof from God. He'll falsely think that "I am God." Yogis, if they can show some mystic yogic power, then naturally foolish people will think him that "Oh, here is God." And he's satisfied with that. He's not God, but foolish people will adore him as God, and he's satisfied. That means he keeps himself aloof from God. After this mystic power is gone, then he is no more valuable. So anything which keeps one aloof from God, that is harmful.
Indian lady: But if they misuse these mystic powers, then they cannot stay as a mystic.
Prabhupada: And why he's after mystic power? What is the use of mystic power. Suppose if you have got this mystic poweryou can walk over the waterso what benefit you'll get? There is a boat also. It can walk on the river or on the ocean Does it mean his all questions are solved? Suppose you can walk over the water. So I cannot walk. I take a boat and pay him four annas. So what is the difference between you and me? It is a question of four annas, that's all (laughter). So why do you endeavor for this rascaldom, and make some jugglery to the foolish people? If you have to walk over the water, you can pay four annas to the boatman and can do it. Why for this so many mystic power?
Bharadraja: Kaitava.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Bharadraja: This is all kaitava-dharma.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Yes, kaitava. You do not get any more benefit. After practicing yoga for ten years, twenty years, if you learn this art how to walk over water, so you can show the magic to the foolish man. But intelligent man will say, "It is a question of four annas. I can walk. Why shall I waste my time, twenty years, for learning this art?"
Indian lady: Sometimes these mystic powers, they use on human beings...
Prabhupada: This is one of the mystic powers which amaze people, foolish people.
Indian lady: But they can use on human beings also...
Prabhupada: What human being?
Indian lady: In their life or...
Prabhupada: No, no, suppose human being learns how to walk over water. Is that the solution of all problems? So what is the benefit to the human being? Suppose you have this mystic yogic power, you can walk over the water, and you teach the whole human society how to walk over the water. (laughter) What is the benefit there?
Indian lady: But for some creation of something or so many things they show...
Prabhupada: That means you have no clear idea, "something, something." Actually there is no benefit. You do not know what is benefit.
Indian lady: Can anybody create anything with this mystic power, any idol of God or any idol of devotee or anything, and then turn them to..., just a good mission to turn them to God?
Prabhupada: What is that mission?
Indian lady: Well, er...
Prabhupada: Practically come to the... Suppose if you learn how to walk, or how to fly in the air. Nowadays they are flying, the big, big airplane flying. They have not learned this mystic power. By machine they are doing that. Suppose if you fly by mystic power from here, Los Angeles, to Bombay or Nairobi, and another man flys over by the plane. Then where is the difference? It is a question of pounds or dollars. So what benefit do we get? Why do you give so much importance, who is flying or walking on the water? Better utilize the time to realize God. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. This is called in the sastra, that anything you do, if it does not awaken your God consciousness, then it is srama eva hi kevalam. It is simply working for nothing, waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. (aside:) Hmm, give him some prasada. And others, what about? No, you can take this... Prasada. Others, them also. (Hindi)
If we do not awaken our God consciousness, anything you do, that is all waste of time. That is wanted in the human form of life, to revive our God consciousness. That is the most important business. So, any other questions?
Arnold Weiss: I do, but I can't take all your evening. It would be unfair of me if I did, but I have a lot of questions.
Prabhupada: So we shall also go. Distribute this prasadam to everyone.
Devotees: Jaya, Srila Prabhupada. [break]
Prabhupada: If you cannot do anything, you can ask anybody, "Become a devotee of God." Three words: "Just become a devotee of God." Anyone can, even a child can do. It is so easy. Ya idam paramam guhyam mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati [Bg 18.68]. Krsna says that "Anyone who preaches this gospel, he is the dearmost person to Me." So what is that gospel? Krsna says, sarva-dharman partiyajya mam ekam saranam vraja: "You just surrender unto Me." So if we go to every home, every person, and say "Just you surrender to God, Krsna," that is our preaching.
Devotees: Jaya, Srila Prabhupada. (end)

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1976/jun/garden_conversation/los_angeles/june/09/1976

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada